The second noble truth reveals that life is painful or difficult because of our attachments. When we stick to certain ideals of what life ‘should’ be like, we create pain for ourselves. The incongruency between our mind and the reality of the moment brings added tension. Instead of accepting what is actually happening, there is resistance which results in stress, strain and struggle. Surrendering to the flow of life is essential in order to experience more peace in life.
For instance, if you believe your children should not argue, you can fume in frustration or accept what is happening and collaborate a solution that yields win-win outcomes. Or if you expect yourself to be emotionally stable during a family meeting and anger arises, you can push away the pain or excuse yourself and allow time to release your pain in an appropriate manner that serves the greater good. The choice is always there.
Eastern wisdom reveals an all-encompassing perspective of the human journey. This view involves four noble truths which help to ease suffering and enhance peace of mind. The first noble truth is that life inevitably includes suffering and difficulty. Anytime we resist difficulties in life, we create discord within leading to imbalance and added tension. As a result, we are out of sync with the reality of the moment, thereby creating extra suffering for ourselves. In contrast, if we surrender to life’s challenges and bring love and compassion to our experience, without adding any negative energy, peace is more likely to arise.
Committing to living by the truth is like committing to living without fear. Fear is the main reason that truths remain hidden. Bring kindness along with right timing and a sense of what feels appropriate to the situation. Dissolve tension in life and entanglement by opening yourself to a world of possibilities. The benefits are enormous with a new level of freedom and the potential to evolve relationships in positive ways. Some may ease or even come to an end while others may deepen and be renewed to a higher level of flourishing. There is natural beauty to truth well beyond what the rational thinking mind knows!
The fourth level of truth involves detachment from the past. Be aware of old reactive patterns that support assumptions and tendencies to be self-righteous, hurt or angry. Take time to bring yourself to the present moment and ponder the reality of what was said or done. Look for common patterns in your reactions, discerning what actually happened and the meaning behind the event.
For instance, if someone close to you repeatedly triggers hurt, question the stories you hold about this relationship. Perhaps you have built a long-held belief that this person is controlling and aggressive which may have been true years ago but may no longer be true in the current moment. Truth at this level reflects the reality of the moment without preconceived biases.
The third level of truth involves awareness of motivating forces within. Truth in its purest sense is rooted in love. Knowing what motivates you is essential for understanding deeper truths within.
For instance, if you find yourself gossiping about another person’s misfortune, question your motivation to see if it is based on a need to elevate yourself at the cost of others. If so, the real truth may be unresolved issues from the past, based on insecurity and perceived powerlessness. Be open and willing to uncover deepest truths within, yearning to be acknowledged and released.
Truths are extremely important when it comes to maintaining wellness. There are four levels of truth and last week covered the first level which involves facts. The second level of truth involves deep awareness of emotions and body sensations. Recognizing physical symptoms is key to opening oneself up to core feelings that may have been subconsciously hidden for a very long time.
For instance, many people hide hurt through expressions of anger while others cover anger with sadness or despairing tears. Awareness of what is happening in the body helps to distill truths that can be ultimately conveyed to others. The very act of allowing truths to come forth is healing and transformative in itself, bringing more peace and contentment in life.
Truths are seldom fixed. Truths may reveal one’s perspective in the moment or what feels right for that individual. On a deeper level, truths may also reveal core emotions or profound thoughts. When truths are allowed to surface, the flow of vital life energy within is enhanced.
There are four levels of truth that will be covered this month. The first level involves facts, revealing exactly what is happening in the moment without exaggeration or distortion. Remaining neutral and objective is key. For instance, if you notice someone looking at themselves in a mirror, you would simply state “He/she is looking in the mirror.” Any distortion involves your interpretation such as “He/she loves to look at him/herself.” Truths based on pure facts reflect the reality of the moment.
In this final post on the topic of integrity, one key point to remember at all times is to refrain from concealing your truths. Anytime we are dishonest with ourselves, we compromise our integrity in ways that deplete quality of life. Walking the noble road involves honesty to the degree it best serves you and others.
Wonder is a skill rooted in spirit. Speak from a level of wonder with great curiosity! Listen appreciatively to another person. The potential to shift relationship dynamics in positive ways is absolutely powerful when you do this. Maintain an open mind and be ready to witness the magic of wonder unfolding before you!
Another skill for elevating integrity is to practice listening in ways that promote deeper understanding. Curiosity combined with respect for others strengthens connections in powerful ways. Set intentions to explore with tenderness and open-ended questions that support win-win outcomes.
For instance, using the same example from two weeks ago, if you had to suddenly cancel a social event you previously committed to, the follow up conversation might include questions such as “What specifically about this cancellation leaves you feeling sad?” or “How can I help to ease your disappointment?” Saying either of these will help bridge the divide and build stronger ties into the future.